Program Overview

As one of a few programs in the state, this program prepares individuals to work as an entry-level sign language interpreter who facilitate and mediate communication between Deaf/hard of hearing and hearing people. Interpreters must convey accurate messages, tone, and intent of participants, whether those messages are spoken or signed. Above average competency in English and strong American Sign Language skills are necessary. A strong academic background and traits that demonstrate maturity, responsibility, flexibility, and the ability to work well under pressure are assets.

Students experience a variety of learning environments, including classroom work, computer lab practice/assessment and field placement. Students will be required to have both in-class and out-of-class experiences with members of the Deaf Community to further develop ASL fluency and cultural awareness. Austin has one of the largest Deaf communities in the state and its proximity creates a high demand for interpreters.

Sign Language Interpreters earn a median salary of $49,350 per year. Salaries typically start from $25,960 and go up to $80,990. Demand for American Sign Language interpreters is expected to grow rapidly, driven by the increasing use of video relay services.

This large Deaf community in Austin offer ASL students many opportunities to work within the ASL culture.

Why us?
Interpreting is the process of communicating spoken English messages into ASL as well as rendering ASL into spoken English.  The field of interpreting is a rapidly growing profession.  Legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) have greatly increased the demand for interpreting services throughout the United States.  In addition, and more than ever, hearing and deaf people are interacting in all aspects of our society.  Today, interpreters can be found in scores of situations such as educational, legal, medical, mental health, educational and theatrical settings.  Within these different settings, an interpreter may work for a variety of clients on a “per job” basis as a freelance or private practice interpreter or may hold a full-time interpreting position.

About Us
ASL is a visual spatial language utilized by Deaf and hard of hearing individuals to communicate. We offer seven different levels of ASL classes which are all taught in ASL by our experienced teaching faculty. ACC has been providing interpreter training since the fall of 1997.  Since that time it has tripled in size and continues to grow.  We currently average of 1,250 students every year. The majority of ASL & Interpreter Training classes are offered at the Rio Grande Campus.

Purpose
The purpose of our program is to develop knowledge and skills leading to employment as interpreters.  It is intended that graduates will have a broad understanding of the types and scope of support services, which could be or should be available to deaf persons as well as extensive knowledge of Deaf culture.  The goal is for graduates to have entry-level theoretical and technical skills in interpreting.

2017-2018 Catalog & Student Handbook

Prepares students to work as an entry-level sign language interpreter to facilitate and mediate communication between Deaf/hard of hearing and hearing people. Students will develop receptive and expressive skills in American Sign Language. Students will experience a variety of learning ASL environments, including classroom work, get support from ASL lab and internship placement. Students will be required to have both in-class and out-of-class experiences with members of the Deaf community to further develop ASL fluency and cultural competency. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to work as an entry-level interpreter in the field or to continue their studies at a four-year institution.

*Students are required to maintain a C or higher in all Interpreting courses in order to continue in the program.

The ASL Interpreter Training offers degree and certificate programs designed to provide students with a strong foundation of knowledge, skills, and practical experience to become successful working interpreters. Courses teach theoretical, ethical, cultural and practical knowledge of the interpreting field, as well as cognitive processing skills to effectively interpret to prepare students for entry-level sign language interpreter positions or to transfer to a four-year institution.

The A.A.S. degree program is ideal for students who want to become ASL interpreters and do not already hold a degree.

The certificate program is ideal for students who want to become ASL interpreters, but already hold a degree.

To meet the Career Goal of becoming an ASL Interpreter:
Step One: complete the American Sign Language Studies Certificate (allows the student to become proficient in ASL and attain the pre-requisites for the A.A.S. program).
Step Two: complete the Interpreter Preparatory Program A.A.S.

FAQ

Where do I start?

3. Is this program 100% online?

Currently, not all courses are offered online. We have a few ASL and interpreting online courses offered. Check our current semester schedule that is listed under DIL for online classes.

Courses and Degrees

7. Where can I find the ACC Course Schedule?

8. Where are ASL and interpreting classes offered?

9. Can I transfer credit for ASL courses taken at another school? I have some knowledge in ASL already.

Because of the unique nature of our curriculum, only select course work can be considered for transfer credit for interpreting courses. Eligibility will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis during the advisement process.

Every transfer student and prospective ASL student who has ASL knowledge will be required to book an appointment for an ACC ASL Course Challenge Exam.

If you register in class without taking course challenge exam, you will be removed from class before 2nd week of semester.

I want to be an Interpreter. What do I need to do?

11. I want to become an interpreter. What do I need to do?

Educational Requirements:

BEI State Certification: AA degree in any field

RID National Interpreter Certification: Bachelor’s degree in any field

There are two types of certifications.

12. How long does it take to complete the associate degree and certificate programs?

Both the associate degree and the certificate depend on whether you have any language base or not. If there is no language base, then the programs will take you between three and four years (8 semesters) depending if you take summer courses. If a strong ASL base is attained, then the programs will take you 2 years (4 semesters).

Degree Plan Map

13. Where can I find a copy of ACC Degree Tracking form?

14. Can I take two ASL classes concurrently?

No, you will not be able to take two ASL classes at the same time. Please review ACC Degree Tracking Worksheet and understand each course’s pre-requisite.

15. I am interested in 2+2 Transfer Program with Gallaudet University.